Desmond Russell tallied a career high in strikeouts as Jackson State cruises past Eastern Illinois in tournament finale with a 8-2 win.
"When things aren't working out, you always need a pitcher that can come in and get us back on track and that's what Desmond did today," according to Coach Johnson.
In the fourth inning Jackson State's bats erupted earning three runs off two hits. The runs began when catcher Jose Cruz's single brought home Ethan Bright and Desmond Russell. Charles Tillery stole home on a double steal giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead over the Panthers. At the bottom of the fifth an error by Eastern Illinois' pitcher brought Fred Hampton and Nick Marigny home extending the Tigers lead to 5-1. Stephen Curtis scored off Desmond Russell's sacrifice fly. The Tigers capped the inning with a fourth run when Charles Tillery's single brought in Ethan Bright.
JSU added their final run when Russell's single brought Fred Hampton home to make the score 8-1. The Panthers added one run in the top of the ninth, but were unable to overcome the deficit.
Desmond Russell was the highlight of the game breezing through the Eastern Illinois' lineup striking out 15 Panther hitters. Russell also finished the game going 2 for 4, with 1 run, and 2 RBIs. Russell stated, "I feel great about my performance today. I feel we played together as a team and came out ready to dominate today and that's what we did."
The Tigers will hit the road for Conway, Arkansas for a weekend of competition against Central Arkansas University February 22-24, 2013.